HomeAsiaCommentary: 'Cute-washing' and sexism are at the heart of Japan fast food's...

Commentary: ‘Cute-washing’ and sexism are at the heart of Japan fast food’s bid to attract female customers


The existence of profound sexism in company Japan was not the large reveal right here, although the quantity and immediacy of public outrage have been encouraging. 

Rather, it was Ito’s inclusion of the significantly jarring, visceral phrases for “young girls” and “hooked” phrases that gave his verbal image such repellent vividness. And that is the place issues get difficult.

Ito, accompanied by a grovelling apology from the firm, was shortly sacked. It was a transfer that Yoshinoya clearly hopes will permit it to disguise the episode as one man’s folly, reasonably than blowing the industrial secret that the recreation, which the fast-food firm is in (and has been successful for many years), calls for deep reserves of cynicism and ugliness.

Consider with out forgiving his vocabulary Ito’s advertising and marketing problem from an investor’s perspective. Japan’s inhabitants is irrevocably shrinking and males, broadly talking, don’t want a lot convincing {that a} bowl of fatty beef on rice, wolfed down at a strip-lit counter, is US$5 nicely spent. 

If there may be home progress for the firm to be discovered wherever, it’s amongst the younger, cash-strapped female inhabitants that has but to admire what they are lacking.



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